An all-Japanese and Japanese-American creative team transports Puccini’s tragedy to a virtual-reality setting that re-envisions how we view Madame Butterfly’s story. Experience the music you know and love in a production that re-imagines the opera’s events through the fantasy of a modern-day Pinkerton.
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Detroit Opera offers complimentary opera talks one hour prior to each performance. Noted experts provide background and important information on what you will see on stage, enhancing your performance experience! Opera Talks provide an insightful and entertaining preview of the works performed on stage.
Unless otherwise directed, Talks take place on the main floor of the auditorium, between aisles two and six.
Madame Butterfly Pre-Opera Talks
Saturday, October 7 2023 6:30pm – Before the premiere of our new production of Madame Butterfly, Detroit Opera Director of External Affairs, Arthur White talked with Head of Music Nathalie Doucet and Lighting Designer Yuki Nakase Link about producing a work through a different lens and the challenges for women in the performing arts industry.
Friday, October 13 2023 6:30pm – Before the second performance of our new production of Madame Butterfly, Director of External Affairs, Arthur White talked with the President of Verdi Opera Theater of Michigan John Zaretti about the origins of the opera’s creation, and Japanese-born conductor Kensho Watanabe about his history with the opera.
Sunday October 15 2023 1:30pm – “Ok, if we were to say ‘no traditional production’, what would you do?” Stage director Matthew Ozawa talks with Detroit Opera Gary L. Wasserman Artistic Director Yuval Sharon about his concept behind his production of Madame Butterfly, before the final performance at the Detroit Opera House. Hosted by Director of External Affairs Arthur White.
Matthew Ozawa’s new production of Madame Butterfly is “upending … stereotypes about women and Japanese culture… ‘We have an immense duty to this piece, to Butterfly and to the Asian community,’ Ozawa said. ‘There might be some discomfort in our story, but change can only come if there’s discomfort.’ ” – Javier C. Hernández, New York Times, July 24, 2023
“It’s an extraordinary re-envisioning of the opera, a subtle critique that does no violence to the work but focuses attention on what is already there.” – Joe Law, Opera News, July 27, 2023
“Karah Son is an extraordinary talent; a wondrous voice full of expression and emotion, colour and sensitivity. What amazing vocal control as she becomes Cio-Cio-San, the beautiful and trusting young geisha so cynically exploited by Pinkerton, the heartless, misogynistic American naval lieutenant.” – Daily Telegraph
“The fantastical, anime-inspired sets were designed by Kimie Nishikawa, while Maiko Matsushima designed the boldly colored costumes. Elsewhere, Yuki Nakase Link has created an otherworldly lightscape that brings Nishikawa’s sets to life. Indeed, the whole team has been working together to craft an experience that takes Puccini’s work to a modern realm—all while retaining the authenticity of the original manuscript.” —Pride Source, September 2023